State of M.P to pay Rs. 10 lakh compensation for illegally arresting two women

Supreme Court: In the matter where the legality of the arrest of a Doctor and her mother who is a Practicing Advocate on the basis of an FIR registered against them under Section 420( cheating) of the Penal Code, 1860 and Section 66-D ( Punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resource) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 was challenged,  the Court, holding that the officers of the State had played with the liberty of the petitioners and, in a way, experimented with it,  directed the State to pay compensation Rs.5,00,000 to each petitioner.

In the case, the informant had purchased an Aura Cam from the first petitioner after being satisfied by the demo of the machine. He later alleged that fraud had been committed by the first petitioner as the machine was not working which led to the arrest of the first petitioner and her mother who had no role in the matter. The Court agreed with the contention of the learned Amicus Curie, Mr. Sunil Fernandes that the police has violated the procedures that were needed to be followed for arresting the petitioners. The Court further held that the dispute was purely of a civil nature, but a maladroit effort had been made to give it a criminal colour.

The bench comprising of Dipak Misra , and S K Singh, JJ., said that the dignity of the Petitioners have been seriously jeopardized. They further added that that the liberty of the petitioner was curtailed in violation of law and that the  freedom of an individual has its sanctity. When the individual liberty is curtailed in an unlawful manner, the victim is likely to feel more anguished, agonized, shaken, perturbed, disillusioned and emotionally torn. It is an assault on his/her identity. The said identity is sacrosanct under the Constitution there has been a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution and the Petitioners were compelled to face humiliation. [Rini Johar v. State of MP, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 594, decided on 03.06.2016]

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